Ordsall Chord Nov 17

Ordsall Chord completion paves way for Northern Hub’s December opening

Construction work on Manchester’s Ordsall Chord railway bridge has completed ahead of the first passenger trains running between Victoria and Piccadilly in December.

Rail minister Paul Maynard installed the final rail clip on the bridge today, ceremonially completing the work on the project which has been built by a joint venture of Skanska, Bam Nuttall, Amey Sersa, and Siemens, alongside steelwork contractor Severfield, consultants WSP, Aecom, and Mott MacDonald, and architect BDP.

The new rail link will connect Manchester’s Victoria and Piccadilly stations for the first time, and will allow increased services to and from Manchester Airport.

It forms part of the wider Northern Hub project which is due to complete by the end of the year.

Maynard said: “The new Ordsall Chord is a major milestone for the Great North Rail Project and forms a key part of this government’s £13bn investment in transport in the North.

“The construction of this new iconic bridge has supported 2,000 jobs, including new apprentices and graduates and will provide new and direct links to Manchester Airport from across the region.

“By 2020, the Great North Rail Project will deliver faster and more comfortable journeys, with new trains, extra carriages and more than 2,000 extra services a week.”

BDP’s transport architect director Peter Jenkins added: “This project has had significant historic issues to manage, with a series of viaducts and bridges arcing around past Liverpool Road Station, the first passenger railway station in the world and an 1830 bridge by pioneering rail engineer George Stephenson.

“In total there are three grade one-listed and twenty-one grade two-listed structures on or around the site, which show the importance of this location in the global history of passenger railways.

“We have designed the first asymmetric network arch bridge in the world alongside the first passenger railway in the world.

“Stephenson’s Bridge was neglected and disused before the Ordsall Chord. Now it can be celebrated for its character and importance.”

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This is like saying Manchester Airport has secured an extra 100 flights a week but unfortunately there is nowhere for them to land ! Without the extra platforms at Piccadilly and Oxford Road this is a waste of time . This section was always the least important part of the scheme but was done first to set the precedent that unless your property was nearer than five meters from the finished structure you could not a claim compensation under the CPO rules . Can you imagine what it would have cost Network Rail to compensate all those residents along the rest of the route down Whitworth Street . I haven’t met a single person who didn’t think this scheme was a great idea but I have met many who are dismayed at Network Rails management of it . This section is about 300 meters and has cost at least 30 million more than the estimated 85 million it should have cost , taking into account the facts that they didn’t realise the platforms at Salford Station were to short and had to be rebuilt and the disaster of pumping six wagon loads of concrete into the main sewer at Liverpool Rd/Water St .
At the end of the day this is just a railway bridge ,if the High Speed Rail network is done in the same way it will be a disaster.

By Barny

This is not the first time that Victoria and Piccadilly have been connected. The remains of the viaduct can still be seen at Ardwick Junction, south of Piccadilly, where the line diverged north towards Victoria.

By Chris Dale

Is this really new?? It’s rusty already.

By Casey Jones

Agree with Barny.The backlog of trains around Oxford Road and Deansgate will be horrendous.Have they also thought how the airport station will cope with that extra amount of trains.It is like something from the Railway children.

By Elephant